Robert Michael “Flan Man” Flanagan, 63, of Crozet, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 19, 2021 at 7:13 p.m. at his home. Mike was born January 23, 1958, in New York City to Robert Joseph and Helen Sophia (Epp) Flanagan. As a boy, Mike was active in the community through Boy Scout troops led by his father, achieved the honor of Eagle Scout, and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 1974. He was a loving (and occasionally mischievous) brother to older sister Diane and his younger sister Carolyn. Mike’s father was in the Navy and the family moved to different cities over the years, igniting Mike’s love of traveling and his engagement with the communities that he lived in along the way. Mike remained an adventurous young man as he finished high school and took a year-long cross-country trip with his best friend Bucky. He established himself as a young landlord with properties across Virginia and West Virginia, and as an avid Fire Fighter, paramedic, and ski patroller.
Mike married Heidi McCracken in September of 1985 in Hampton, Virginia and the couple backpacked overseas for 6 months before relocating from Tidewater to Crozet, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mike was not idle; he bought “fixer uppers”, managed his rental properties and then he and Heidi set off again to live overseas for a year before finally settling to bring three beautiful girls into this world; Shannon Lee (1993), Colleen Shea (1995), and Megan Michelle (1996). He poured his fatherhood years into teaching, traveling, and loving his daughters. Mike was extremely proud of the accomplishments of his daughters; one of which graduated from Virginia Tech (Colleen) another from UVA (Megan), and his very own Special Olympic Athlete (ShanFlan). He dove into the community, hosting Christmas events at the local nursing home, volunteering with the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, and working as a ski patroller at Wintergreen Resort for 30+ years. In 2015, Mike joined the bartending staff at the newly opened Pro Re Nata Brewery, a place and group of people that quickly became his home away from home. Mike will be remembered most as a lover of good food and drink, a museum connoisseur, a thrower of Luaus, a great adventurer, an outdoorsman, a skilled craftsman, and an incredible friend, brother, son, and father to countless people. Among the many adventures, Mike is recognized by affording his daughters more camping trips, travel opportunities, museum visits, scuba expeditions, and ski trips than most can hope for in a lifetime. Mike was a fighter, he would want all to live by the words he was often heard saying: “Improvise, adapt, overcome,” and the always-appropriate, “It’s five o’clock somewhere”.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, Robert Joseph Flanagan. He is survived by the mother of his three girls, Heidi McCracken Flanagan, daughters Shannon Lee, Colleen Shea, and Megan Michelle, mother Helen Sophia Epp Flanagan, Sisters Diane Kimball (David) and Carolyn Roberts (Craig), Nephew Craig Roberts, Jr (Melissa), and Nieces Lynn Lawhorn (Shawn), Lori Greaves (Eric), and Christine Hoffmier (Mason).
A Celebration of Life service was held at Pro Re Nata Brewery on July 27. The family shares their immense gratitude for the loving and expert care provided by Dr. Erica Struble’s Oncology Team at Martha Jefferson Hospital as well as the amazing support provided in the home at the end of Mike’s life by the Hospice of the Piedmont